November 16, 2015 |
What's so exciting about the region's current brewpub boom? The sheer diversity of the movement. Yes, the area's corporate pioneers are still thriving. But the indie newcomers have gone well beyond the familiar templates, with quirky concepts in unlikely locales, from far-flung strip malls to bike paths along the river, colonial inns, emerging city neighborhoods, and vibrant suburban main streets. Some have full kitchens. Others make the most of crock pots, induction burners, and a panini press.
June 7, 2007
To say the Sidecar Bar & Grille is "on a roll" would just trivialize with a cheap pun what chef Rich Freedman and owner Adam Ritter are doing in their gastro-pub near Graduate Hospital in South Philly. Freedman, working in a tiny kitchen, turns out scratch charcuterie - Cajun sausage made of raw pork and pork liver, chorizo, Tasso ham, country pate, and hickory-and-alder-smoked knackwurst. Take the knackwurst, which comes with a salad and homemade sauerkraut. At $9.95, it's not the cheapest sandwich around.
December 17, 2009
The ever-improving Sidecar Bar, a pioneering gastropub in Graduate Hospital, took another step forward this fall with the addition of chef Brian Lofink. Formerly co-chef at Matyson off Rittenhouse Square, Lofink hasn't upscaled Sidecar's inventive bar fare so much as tweaked it with better ingredients. His nachos - usually a dish I dread - were an irresistible example. The gooey jack cheese has been replaced with a genuine Mexican melter - asadero. The salsa, a green tomatillo zinger studded with pineapple, jalapeño, and cilantro, was inspired by Lofink's brief stint with Bobby Flay.
January 15, 2016 |
What a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago this week, Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby were still relatively unknown niche players in the wider Philadelphia dining scene when they moved Horizons Cafe, a vegan destination known for grilled seitan "wings" in a far-flung suburban strip mall, to an ambitious new location in Center City. The word vegan - and its animal-free promise of Vegenaise and copious fake meats - still struck fear in the hearts of many mainstream diners. When the two moved to their elegant new space at Vedge five years later and began focusing more on redefining pure vegetable cookery, the zeitgeist had begun to change.
June 11, 2009
The big guys are finally catching on that consumers want better-tasting, lower-calorie, higher-fiber alternatives to sandwich bread. Pepperidge Farm offers these 100-calorie flat rolls: good toasted with hummus or grilled for paninis. Available in whole wheat, oatmeal, and seven grain. If you need a beer primer to keep up with the crew at the latest gastropub (and who doesn't in brew-crazy Philly?), turn to a new book from local writer Lynn Hoffman for a tasty draft of advice. The Short Course in Beer (Künati)
June 4, 2012 |
Just because "Alla Spina" means "from the tap" doesn't mean those taps only stream with beer. At Marc Vetri's new gastropub, there are also plans to start pouring kegged local wines on draft sometime soon. But while the official details are still being ironed out, beverage director Steve Wildy decided to make good use of his Cornelius homebrewer soda kegs to start pouring Negroni cocktails on draft, too. This classic Italian cocktail of Campari, sweet vermouth, and gin (Bluecoat in my house)